From June 2014 all Trusts will have to publish their nursing and midwifery staffing information on a monthly basis. The results are available through the NHS Choices website, as well as here on our internet safe staffing page. The staffing results are for inpatient wards, excluding day care, clinical decisions units and an additional capacity bed which are opened during the winter. The wards are listed with the 2 main specialities of patients who are cared for in the ward, such as medicine or ENT.
The results are presented by each ward, it shows the number of nursing and midwifery hours that we plan to have on duty, and next to this the actual hours that nurses and midwives worked. The staffing levels are shown in hours for registered nurses and midwives by day and night shifts. The care support staff ( health care support workers or maternity support workers) are shown in hours by day and night shift. The final two columns show the percentage for the average fill by the registered and unregistered nurses for the day and night shifts.
Some of our wards show that they have more staff on duty than are planned, so they are 100%+, this is because sometimes we book additional nursing or care staff to care for patients who need close supervision or specialing as we call it, or in cases where patients are poorly or acutely ill and need additional nursing care.
Where our wards show under the planned numbers of nursing or care staff, we always take measures to ensure that quality of care is not compromised. These measures are described on each monthly return of staffing.
In the maternity, children’s and neonatal units we flex our staffing levels in accordance to the number of patients as these can vary quite considerably.